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17.05.2004 Regional News

Tema teachers demand restoration of Cap 30

By GNA

Tema, May 17, GNA - Teachers in Tema municipality on Monday staged a three hour demonstration through the principal streets of Tema to back their demand for the restoration of Teachers Pension Ordinance of 1955, Ghana Government Pension Scheme Cap 30 in place of the SSNIT Pension Scheme.

The teachers bore placards, some of which read, " Teachers are Manpower Developers, Handle Them With Care", " What is Good for the Goose is Good for the Ganger", "SSNIT Pension Low Gratuity", " Restore Teachers Dignity with Cap 30", and Teachers are the Nation's Pride, Treat Them Fairly."

Copies of the petition signed by Mr George Asare Yamoah, Municipal Municipal Director of Education.

Mr Narh commended the teachers for staging a peaceful demonstration and promised to forward their petition to the highest authorities and hoped that their request would be handled with swift. The petition stated that the Social Security Pension scheme has operated in the teacher's life for 32 years and within the period the highest lump sum of benefit a teacher had taken home was 13 million cedis with a paltry pension.

"The situation has created anxiety and tension amongst teachers and this is due to the realisation that the services teachers render are not properly rewarded".

It said teachers have realised that the promulgation of SMC Decree 8 of 1975 brought the status of teachers down from pensionable to non-pensionable officers.

The petition complained that under teachers' pension ordinance, a teacher is to work for ten continuous years to qualify for gratuity and pension, while with the SSNIT pension they had to work for 20 years to quality for 50 per cent pension right.

It said whereas teachers' pension ordinance is worked on the final annual gross salary, SSNIT takes the average of only three best years' salaries and this reduces the base salary which consequently gives abysmal benefits.

The petition warned that the delay in handling the issue would result to low morale and high labour agitation since the SSNIT benefit would not sustain and maintain the teachers to remain and retire as teachers. According to the teachers the deprivation of teachers and others of the pension scheme cap 30 and its retention for the Armed Forces, Police, Prison and Legal Services as well as the universities and research institutions not only constitutes an act of discrimination, but a violation of Ghana's economic and human rights enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

They therefore called on the government to share the national cake with the same set of standards rather than to resort to inhumane policies which inflict discrimination, suffering and oppression on one segment of the public services.

They added that the teachers' pension ordinance is an occupational right, which was scrapped and must be restored as a reflection of good governance and prudent human resource management.

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